Science under Control: The French Academy of Sciences 1795-1914 by Maurice CroslandScience under Control: The French Academy of Sciences 1795-1914 by Maurice Crosland

Science under Control: The French Academy of Sciences 1795-1914

byMaurice Crosland

Paperback | June 20, 2002

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The greatest ambition of any moderately successful nineteenth-century French scientist was to become a member of the Academy of Sciences. Science Under Control is the first major study in any language of this elite institution, in a period that began with such influential figures as Laplace and Cuvier and extended to the time of Louis Pasteur and Henri Poincare. The book attempts to remove the veil of mystery and misunderstanding that has shrouded this key institution and its procedures. The French government exercised political, financial, and bureaucratic control over the Academy, and the Academy in turn sat in judgment over all serious scientific production. Only with its approval could the work of French scientists win acceptance and advance their careers. The book examines the politics of science in a historical context drawing on a wealth of original historical sources. The author argues that the Academy was of importance not only nationally but also internationally, by its influence and by the establishment of certain procedures now considered basic to the organization of modern science. The book therefore provides a case study of carefully regulated scientific production encouraged yet constrained within a system of reports, prizes, and elections. This book will prove to be an invaluable source of information and of discussion on the history, politics, and religion of this intense period in European science.
Title:Science under Control: The French Academy of Sciences 1795-1914Format:PaperbackDimensions:476 pages, 9.72 × 6.85 × 0.94 inPublished:June 20, 2002Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:052152475X

ISBN - 13:9780521524759


Table of Contents

1. Science in France; 2. The structure of the Academy; 3. The functioning of the Academy: some possible roles; 4. Science divided: the sections; 5. The Academicians; 6. Elections: 'green fever'; 7. Registration, judgement and reward; 8. The printed word; 9. The Academy under Government control; 10. Outsiders: the scientific fringe and the public; 11. The international context; 12. The control of the Academy of Science.

Editorial Reviews

"On the whole, this book clarifies and considerably enriches our knowledge of the functioning of the French research system in the nineteenth-century and of the structuring roles that the academy played up to the Second Empire....Because of the quality of its erudirion and its wealth of precise information, building on the decades of scholarship that the author has dedicated to the history of French Science, it will no doubt remain for a long time a major reference work." Camille Limoges, Isis